PUPPP – A Pregnancy Condition You Should Definitely Know About

Pregnancy can cause a number of things to your body. From hormonal variation to mood swings, and acne to stretch marks, and pigmentation issues. PUPPP is one of the pregnancy conditions that might happen to you and make your life miserable. To help you out, here is everything you need to know about PUPPP.


Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy is a chronic hives-like rash that starts unobtrusive and begins as tiny, itchy red bumps during pregnancy. It usually occurs on the stretch marks on the abdomen. The distinguishing characteristic of PUPPP is it never affects the navel. But these red bumps grow bigger forming large patches and spreading to the legs, chest, underarms, etc. The face is usually spared.

PUPPP is also known as Polymorphic Eruption of Pregnancy (PEP), Toxic erythema of Pregnancy, Bourne’s toxemic rash of pregnancy and nurse’s late-onset prurigo.

Symptoms of PUPPP:

· Red bumps starting on the abdomen where the skin is stretched and spreads.

· Severe itching.

· Red, eczema-like patches.

· Blisters

Diagnosing PUPPP:

PUPPP is generally diagnosed by examining the rash on the skin and by process of elimination of other infection. Usually, no further tests are needed. But to rule out other infections, your doctor might suggest some blood tests such as Complete blood count; Liver function test; Serum Cortisol; Serum Human Choriogonadotropin (HCG).

PUPPP Prevention:

Since the causes of PUPPP are unknown, the prevention of PUPPP is not guaranteed. However, some healthy choices could reduce the chances of getting PUPPP.

1. Cleansing the liver:

Cleansing the liver before pregnancy could reduce the toxic load on the body and reduce the chance of PUPPP. Also, use of liver and blood purifying herbs such as dandelion tea could help. Veggie juices are also a great way to cleanse and detox the body.

2. Strengthen the skin:

A supplement of collagen and gelatin could strengthen the skin and connective tissues around the abdomen preventing the damage which could lead to PUPPP.

3. Protect:

Use of immunomodulating herbs such as ashwagandha and astragalus act as a tonic to balance the immune system and can prevent the immune systems from having a negative response to the migrating fetal cells. Hence, reducing the chance of PUPPP

4. Soothe:

Massaging the abdomen with stretch mark body butter offers relief from itchy skin and helps in diminishing the stretch mark appearance. It also strengthens the skin. Gotu Kola is a herb that could be infused in body butter to prevent stretch marks and damage of connective tissues.

Natural treatments for PUPPP:

The definitive cure for PUPPP rash is delivering the baby. It usually goes off within a week or two after delivery but in some cases, it may persist for a few weeks after birth. But the symptoms could be controlled by following methods:

1. Moisturizers:

Applying the itch-relieving moisturizers to the skin relieves the discomfort caused by PUPPP. Oatmeal lotions could also be used. But before selecting the moisturizers, make sure to get the ingredients of the moisturizer are baby-friendly. Some of the examples are salicylic acids, retinol, Vitamin-A.

2. Topical Steroids:

To reduce the itching, a steroid-containing cream or ointments (such as 1 percent hydrocortisone cream) could be applied to the patchy areas. Class I or II corticosteroid creams and ointments are used for aggressive cases, and oral corticosteroids could be used to treat very severe cases.

3. Antihistamines:

Antihistamine tablets relieve itching but it is always advised to check with your doctor before taking them. Some of the examples are diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and cetirizine (Zyrtec). Antihistamines are less effective than corticosteroid treatments.

4. Itch-relieving baths:

Itching associated with rash could be reduced by oatmeal or baking soda bath. A cool, wet compress might also help in controlling itching.

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